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Alcohol and smoking

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by SUM1, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. SUM1

    SUM1 Well-Known Member

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    Forgive me for my bluntness, but I don't get it. I don't get why people start doing it, and I especially don't get why autists start doing it, in their supposedly more logical thinking.

    I'm diagnosed with Asperger's and 19 years old, and there's no nice way to express my view on this, but I've always felt extremely alone in my absolute rejection of all recreational drugs, not least because so many people with my very own diagnoses do them, in addition to the general populace.

    I'm more concerned with why people start doing them rather than why people can't stop, because that second part is very easy to explain. I just don't understand why people make a choice that is nothing but harmful to them, and others. I've no idea why, if it's social pressure, they let themselves cave into it. I've no idea why people can't analyse risks and benefits. I could go on about the 1,000s of reasons against such practices, but I don't think I'm at liberty to. I rarely express such views at all because I know they get met with scathing rejection.

    If anything can come out of this post, I want to know if there are other people like me, and I want to know from the point of view of those who consume these drugs why they do it, more importantly, why they started doing it, in as much detail as they can. Thank you.
     
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  2. tree

    tree Blue/Green Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    It seems simple to me.
    People smoke/drink/use other drugs in order
    to feel differently from how they feel initially.
     
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  3. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    It isn't logical. It's about what you feel - how substances make you feel. They can make everything okay for just a little bit, and to a broken and tormented person that is incredibly appealing. So appealing, that such people find themselves addicted. Not so much because the chemical somehow won't let you quit; people don't quit because they don't want to, or don't have to.

    So basically, you don't get addicted to the substance itself, you're much more addicted to being intoxicated. Reasons for starting are varied and vast, but anyone who is successful at quitting learns how to deal with their pain rather than drink/smoke it away.
     
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  4. SUM1

    SUM1 Well-Known Member

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    And don't consider the downsides? Because that's what I said in my post. You don't do things just because of a positive. You consider the positives and negatives. But apparently people don't.
     
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  5. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I started smoking long before it was such a bad thing. There were cigarette machines at every restaurant, commercials encouraging it. etc. It was a common thing and no big deal. I still smoke, but I do not understand why anyone would start these days. And I don't understand beginning anything that would possibly become an addiction. I also don't understand why people do drugs or drink and not prefer to be aware of what's going on around them. Well, I do understand, but I don't at the same time. I understand people doing it as an escape. But others do it for fun. But I do understand getting caught up in something that isn't good without the intentions of it going to where it goes. Everyone is capable of mistakes and some mistakes are easier to get away from than others.
     
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  6. SUM1

    SUM1 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the more helpful post. But it then comes down to how such people learn about those substances as children and how they convince themselves that it's a good idea without the serious downsides. They must be seeing something I never did, but I like to think I had the same pressures and exposures growing up. My parents drink alcohol for example, and I was encouraged once I turned legal age. There was also a "friend" who once tried to get me to take weed with him. But I adamantly refused both times, and I always will.
     
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  7. SUM1

    SUM1 Well-Known Member

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    The issue isn't with the pros for taking alcohol and drugs. The pros are downright obvious. The issue is with all the huge risks and harm that come with it. That would turn any reasonable person off of such a thing, the same way someone wouldn't try to eat a doughnut that was covered in insects and dirt. Why on earth anyone would smoke tobacco for example when 85% of lung cancers are a result of it, and lung cancer has a 17.4% five-year survival rate, is beyond me. And yes @Pats, I get that before recent decades the link to lung cancer wasn't established. I'm more talking about people starting in this day and age.
     
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  8. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I agree, except for the chemical not causing the addiction. Some do. Alcohol withdrawal is very dangerous, which is why if you're to be admitted into a treatment program on Monday, they tell you to drink over the weekend. I've had patients go into withdrawal and on day 3, their vital signs go all over the place and there are many physical things going on and a person could die. Same with certain drugs. Even cigarette withdrawal cause vital sign changes and other physical symptoms that are hard to deal with.
    Prednisone and other medications are weaned for a reason.
     
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  9. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I had to look and see where you were because in the U.S. the legal age for drinking it 21.
     
  10. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    It's hard to understand the sense behind addiction without having experienced it. It's that the pros are so much more appealing than the cons. Do you think a heroin junkie gives a crap if they live or die to begin with? Not really. There is some amount of logical calculation that goes along with it; it's just that once you've started and if the substance appeals to you as much as I describe, you'll start finding any sort of logic to make using seem like a good idea, and make it keep seeming like a good idea. That's part of the trap.
     
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  11. SUM1

    SUM1 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but as I said, that brings us back to how on earth they found those "pros", why the felt they could trust them, what they'd seen of people taking drugs before, all their exposures to the concept in childhood. I've tried to relate my rejection of drugs to my autism/Asperger's, because not only do I never engage in social practices that carry no conceivable proportionate benefit, but I would hate to be out of control of my own mind, but that's clearly failed, because many autists, probably a similar proportion to general people, take drugs (including alcohol).
     
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  12. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm 46 and have never smoked (either cigarette or marijuana), I have also never even touched alcohol my entire life.

    I grew up in a conservative Christian home, and had zero exposure to either.

    From what I've seen, in regards to smoking, is that most people get addicted as teenagers, usually due to peer pressure, and it's so addictive it's hard to quit later in life... I know people who have gone sober, quit drugs, but just can't quit smoking.

    It's been said that people with Asperger's are less prone to peer pressure, we seem to be our own person. I have never felt pressure to smoke or drink, and also never hung out with type of person when I was a teenager and young adult.
     
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  13. Gritches

    Gritches The Happy Dog V.I.P Member

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    Exactly the way I've said for exactly the reasons I've said.

    Enjoy your feelings of self-righteousness. I'm out.
     
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  14. FreeDiver

    FreeDiver How long can you hold your breath? V.I.P Member

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    So is caffeine. Otherwise, you will get massive headaches.
     
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  15. TempeFan

    TempeFan Active Member

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    My officemates kept serving me coffee with those delicious International Delight creamers. I don't do coffee at home and it took me a long time of getting those massive headaches every weekend to finally realize it was caffine withdrawal. Ouch.
     
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  16. GrownupGirl

    GrownupGirl Well-Known Member

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    People usually turn to alcohol and other drugs because their lives are really messed up and they want a quick and easy way to temporarily escape their problems. But all it does is add more problems. Most young people firmly believe that they're immortal, so they might try it because they're too curious, find out they enjoy the high they get and start doing it more and more. But I could never understand this and never did recreational drugs or even smoked cigarettes even as a teenager and was disgusted by the other kids who did.
     
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  17. TheFreeCat

    TheFreeCat Active Member

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    It not hard to understand at all. People who are in a lot of pain want relief on any level for no matter how long and no matter what it costs. I don't see what is so hard to understand.

    The throb of poverty, the nightmare of illness, the trauma of abuse....not everyone can handle the way their brain/mind feels. And knowing that we are here for such a short time, I am afraid that the idea of clenching your jaw and sticking it out does not appeal. Does it make it worse? Only because it's not legal.

    I can't do drugs, but I would if I could, I am afraid. I live in pain. So I am on the other side, seeing people who are drunk much happier than I am . I have Mast Cell and cannot do much, so it's slog through, but I do understand addiction. What I don't understand is people who do not understand the the desire for pain relief.
     
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  18. SUM1

    SUM1 Well-Known Member

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    Self-righteousness? Excuse me? I was only trying to express my view and understand more about why it's done. There was no need for personal attacks.
     
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  19. TempeFan

    TempeFan Active Member

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    I'm 56 and have never smoked anything. When people ask why I'm not smoking and don't allow it in my car or house, I say,"I quit smoking the easy way. I just never started." Like @Sherlock77 detected, Asperger's are less prone to peer pressure. I have never felt pressure to smoke or drink. I accompanied a friend to a casino once but there was nothing to do there but give away my money and that's not something I want to do. I was bored out of my mind and never went back. The pressure to conform was always there, but I had never noticed it until I looked back after being diagnosed. I still don't understand why people choose to ruin their lives doing such things they know will harm them and everyone around them, but I have noticed most people have some guilty pleasure that they insist is wrong and say they wish they could quit but then chose not to. I don't waste my time and energy judging. I simply opt to do things that made sense to me and are actually interesting and enjoyable.

    In high school, I was an outcast because I didn't do sex or drugs or smoke or play hookey or be mean and make fun of people the way other kids did. In the working world my coworkers also snubbed me for not participating in the proper vices, to the point of my being fired often for being a "goody goody" and"messing up the curve" and "not fitting in," just because I had a healthy lifestyle with no self destructive behaviors. Unless one is engaged in some team building debauchery, one is considered The Enemy, who might tattle about the other more clandestine illegal/immoral activities. I'm not invited to parties anymore, as I am considered rude for coughing when people blow smoke in my face and for taking the BYOB to mean Bring Your Own Beverage instead of Bring Ye Only Booze. Back when I was on chemotherapy battling breast cancer all the aunts and moms and cousins were gathered round the table smoking and drinking and gossiping and guzzling various desserts. They invited me to join in and I said, "No thanks. I don't need all that. I got cancer all on my own." After that major faux pas I'm not welcome at family gatherings either. I'm such a happy healthy pariah.
     
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  20. Autistamatic

    Autistamatic He's just this guy, you know?

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    I used to smoke despite the knowledge being widespread in the 70s that there was a link with cancer and heart disease. Why did I do it? I was a naive young Aspie who had spent years trying to get his father to quit. I thought that if I started he might stop, but it didn't do what I hoped and before long I was hooked. I don't smoke now but that's another story.
    I used cannabis for years too and still would if circumstances were different. I suffer from Ankylosing Spondylitis and need a stick to walk - I have done since my late 20s. I never missed a day of work whilst I was using dope and I got several promotions during that time. I only stopped because I moved to a different town and I'm socially awkward so never found an alternative supply. My arthritis is not as much under control as it was before despite the strongest prescription medications I can take. I stopped using it overnight without any problems other than the return of my arthritic pain. Giving up tobacco was WAY harder.
    I drink beer too because I like it. There is nothing quite like the flavour of Newcastle Brown Ale or a good Porter. Whenever I make a Cottage Pie there is a bottle of Guiness or a decent stout/porter in the recipe - makes for superb gravy. I grew up in the Westcountry so Cider has always been a favoured tipple of mine. If you eschew all alcohol that's fine but understand that to have the occasional drink because it tastes nice or relaxes you a little bit does not make an individual an addict nor inferior to someone that doesn't.
    Some people have addictions, including Aspies, but no-one has a right to judge them until you've walked a mile in their shoes.They all have their reasons and any claim that you would not succumb to the same in their shoes is arrogance at worst or ignorance at best. Nobody knows their future and no principle is immutable.
     
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